Florida’s Kremer Boats Nearly 30 Pounds; Leads Season-Opening Southern Open Event at Harris Chain
Category: press release
Jan 30th, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jan 30th, 2009 at 12:00 AM
TAVARES, Fla. – John Kremer, 41, of Sanford, Fla., weighed in a whopping 29 pounds, 13 ounces, far exceeding anyone’s expectations at the season-opening Bassmaster Southern event on the Harris Chain of Lakes out of Tavares, Fla. Kremer says the fishery will prove to be feast or famine for the majority of the nearly 200 pro competitors over the next two days.
At stake for the pros is a top prize of $45,000 and valuable points toward qualifying for the 2010 Bassmaster Elite Series season and the 2010 Bassmaster Classic. Co-anglers will compete in the Opens for the top prize of a boat/motor package valued at $32,000.
Fans are invited to the Open’s Friday and Saturday takeoffs and weigh-ins at Wooton Park, located at 200 South Rockingham Avenue in Tavares. Anglers will launch at 7 a.m. ET and the weigh-ins are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. All activities are free and open to the public. Fishing fans can also follow the action on Bassmaster.com with live, streaming video of the weigh-ins, photo galleries and more.
Kremer rode a hot flipping bait to a comfortable lead. He opened up more than 4-pound margin over his nearest competitor, Bassmaster Elite Series pro Greg Vinson of Vinson, Ala. The newly-minted Elite pro weighed 25 pounds, 9 ounces, Thursday and his limit included the biggest bass of the day, a 10-pound, 5-ounce lunker.
Rounding out the top five were Elite pro Timmy Horton of Muscle Shoals, Ala., in third with 23 pounds, 0 ounces; Bryan Hudgins of Orange Park, Fla., in fourth with 22 pounds, 14 ounces and Elite pro Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla., rounding out the top five with 20 pounds, 0 ounces.
Kremer caught his whole limit flipping his bait into shallow vegetation, and his bag included two fish that weighed more than 9 pounds. He played it close to the vest on his lure selection.
With a cold front slated to move in before launch on day two, some anglers were at a loss in identifying a plan.
“Who knows what it’ll do to the fish,” Kremer said. “I’m going to go back out and start the way I left off, and if that doesn’t work, I’m not sure what I’m going to do.”
What began as a promising day turned sour when rain began falling around noon, but the leaders weighed limits were much heavier than anticipated. Despite the top-heavy leaderboard, limits were hard to come by on both the boater and co-angler side, but most anglers were able to weigh at least one substantial fish.
The erratic weather made it hard for anglers to nail down a pattern, meaning they needed to cover lots of water to find what few fish there were. The 76,000 acres of water that make up the Harris Chain proved to be such a challenge that the Sunshine State natives credit a home field advantage for their good showing.
“I’m really excited it’s going so well. I got a good draw for tomorrow, too,” said Lane. “So we’ll get back out there and keep doing the same thing.
In the co-angler division, another Florida angler, Marlon Crowder of Tampa led the way with a limit weighing 20 pounds, 1 ounce. Crowder has a significant lead over Jon Jezierski of Troy, Mich., who weighed 13 pounds, 6 ounces and Dwaine Williams of Greenup, Ky., with 11 pounds, 9 ounces.
The next stop in the three-tournament Southern Open division is the April 30-May 2 event on Wheeler Lake out of Decatur, Ala.